Brian Johnson passed for 268 yards in the Utes 31-7 win over the Utah State Aggies. (file photo)
Sept. 10, 2005
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Brian Johnson passed for 268 yards and threw two touchdown passes to John Madsen, and Utah increased its winning streak to 18 straight games with a 31-7 victory over Utah State on Saturday night.
Quinton Ganther ran for 104 yards on 15 carries for his second 100-yard game of the season and the Utes (2-0) won the state rivalry for the eighth straight time.
Utah remained unbeaten under new coach Kyle Whittingham and held Utah State to 258 total yards. The Aggies (0-1) were playing their first game under coach Brent Guy and started five freshman.
Madsen, who missed much of fall camp with a hamstring injury, finished with eight catches for 155 yards - 73 more than his career best of 82 against Texas A&M two years ago.
The Utes flustered Utah State quarterback Leon Jackson III in his first start and the Aggies had a woeful night on special teams. A fumbled punt set up one touchdown for the Utes and a punt that sailed into the first row behind the Utah bench set up another.
Jackson was 12-for-25 for 95 yards and was Utah State's leading rusher with 18 carries for 87 yards.
Utah State led 7-0 through much of the second quarter, but from there it was all Utah.
Fans huddled under blankets in the crisp night and many of the 44,639 attending were gone by the fourth quarter, when the temperature had dropped to 50 degrees. A few still remained for the end as the Utes celebrated extending the nation's second-longest winning streak.
Johnson completed 18 of 21 passes and his 268 yards were a career-best, topping the 220 yards he threw for in the season opener against Arizona. Johnson also had a 2-yard touchdown run for Utah's first score.
The Utes scored two touchdowns in the final 3:03 of the second quarter and another early in the third after a fumbled punt gave Utah the ball at the USU 17.
Utah State, which trailed 20-0 after the first quarter against the Utes last year, took its first lead in the series since 2001 when Ryan Bohm scored on a 3-yard run early in the second quarter.
Utah answered with on Johnson's 2-yard run and after forcing Utah State to punt from its own end zone, Eric Weddle returned the kick 22 yards to the USU 30. Johnson threw a 10-yard pass to Madsen on first down and Madsen broke a tackle and ran in to put Utah up 14-7.
The Aggies forced the Utes to punt on the opening possession of the third quarter, but Kevin Robinson bungled the kick when he tried to field it on the bounce. Utah recovered at the 17 and Ganther scored on a 2-yard run with 12:18 left in the third.